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03.25.10

Links 25/3/2010: Free Software Award Winners, Red Hat’s Results Analysed

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LB – Episode 52 – Podcatching an Asterisk by Linux Basement
  • Linux is a Better Teacher

    I learned a little from my dalliances with Apple products. I learned a lot from PCs running DOS and Windows. I’ve learned the most about computers from Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Compaq Presario 2175us Ubuntu Graphics Driver

      For the average IT consumer the term Operating System equals with Windows. Few of them are aware that there is life beyond Windows. There are many open source operating system out there, the majority are Linux based. Lately the most popular Linux distribution is Ubuntu (current version is 9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala). Of course for those of us who were “born into Windows” it could be hard to make the switch to Linux. There are pros and cons about Linux systems. The most important pro is that it is completely free! One of the major drawbacks would be the fact that sometimes it is hard to find the right drivers for your machine.

    • My Mom Runs Ubuntu – Update for Ada Lovelace Day

      So this is not about a single heroine in technology – it is about a general movement: I am convinced, especially Ubuntu with it’s focus on an intuitive interface seems to keep the entry level very low and therefore attracts user groups that might be a suprprise for a lot of people. I know dozens of techie people stating that free operating systems are way too complicated to use for them. When telling about “My Mom Runs Ubuntu” they run out of reasons. At least there is nothing more convincing on using free software than people that are just using it on a daily basis without the need of telling everybody as they just take it as normal.

    • Women In, Near, and Around Ubuntu – Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day – Part 1

      Mackenzie Morgan – (maco) – I met Mackenzie at SELF in 2009. Mackenzie is one of the first folks who offered me feedback on my blog posts, tips on how to be a better Ubuntu User, and how to navigate the community better. Mackenzie recently became an Ubuntu MOTU, and is active in several areas of the Ubuntu Community.

    • AVG kills Windows viruses with Linux and emergency rescue CD

      If your Windows PC has been infected with some net nasty, be it malware, viruses or that fake Facebook password reset slimeware, and you can’t boot up your Windows PC or are stuck with ransomware pop-ups that are popping you out of your mind and stopping your from working, AVG’s new Linux-based emergency boot CD, DVD or USB stick is freely downloadable and ready to help you thrash threatware and get you back to a working PC!

  • Server

    • Supporting The HPC Hero

      Of course, this being Linux Magazine, I’m not going to spend much time discussing Microsoft’s HPC value proposition, but there are real reasons why Windows, and Mac OS X for that matter, don’t have a big foothold in HPC. I covered this five years ago when I wrote Why Linux On Clusters? and what was true then is true today. I’ll save you the detailed reading. Clusters are about building machines around problem sets. To achieve an efficient design you need flexibility and choice. Open source and the Linux OS provide the best flexibility an choice.

  • Kernel Space

    • Open source deduplication software released for Linux

      A new open source project, dubbed Opendedup, has appeared with the goal of creating a deduplication-based file system for Linux called SDFS.

      The project’s developer Sam Silverberg says today’s deduplication solutions only solve the problem of storing deduplicated data, not reading and writing inline data.

    • Now Hear This

      Now, because I’ve given you this tip, you’ll probably never need to use it. Still, it’s good to know USB audio is very supported under Linux, and the devices are fairly standard. Plus, it’s easy to add multiple audio devices with USB audio, which makes things like podcasting much easier!

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

    • Xfce

      • March Xfce desktop

        Shook up my Xfce desktop a bit. I’ve always been a fan of darker environments, especially those with blue tones. This one’s mysterious and fantastic. I did keep the same icon theme as last month, as I don’t have anything more suitable installed at the moment. I’m still looking for something a bit more suited to my current setup.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Based Linux Distributions

        I am somewhat surprised with the number of Linux distributions with Debian roots. A total of 129. This list doesn’t even include all the Ubuntu variations like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.

      • Ubuntu

        • Its beauty is in its potential

          I spent most of this week in various shades of the new Ubuntu, with everything from pure command-line installations to full-blown Gnome desktops, and just about anything in between. I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs, but it was nice to get back to the system that started me out, so to speak.

        • The Awesome Wallpapers of pr09studio

          Well the pantheon of win is about to be joined by another digital artist who’s wallpaper collection of consistently impressive standards has really wowed me.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Installation Slideshow Gets Updated

          We’ve blogged previously about the new-look installation slideshow (designed by Dylan McCall, Michael Forrest and Otto Greenslade) that will greet all users installing of Ubuntu 10.04 – but today finally saw it get pushed into actual being with plenty of changes – most of which fix issues readers expressed during the initial designs.

          The ever-so-slightly misaligned Ubuntu logo of before is now almost perfectly centred with its frame.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Proposed Ubiquity Slideshow Goes Live

          The new Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Ubiquity Slideshow which we were telling you about ~2 weeks ago is now live and you should be able to take a look for yourself by downloading an Ubuntu 10.04 daily build starting tomorrow (or by updating the installer but that didn’t work for me – the package is probably not in the repositories yet).

        • Sneak Preview: Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS

          In an unusual decision and what could be considered an unwelcome change for the user interface, Canonical has also chosen the default configuration of the Metacity window manager to use a reverse positioning of the maximize/minimize icons on the upper left of each window.

          This is a departure from the conventional Microsoft Windows-like positioning on the upper right of each window used in previous releases, which may take getting some used to by new Linux users. It certainly annoys this one and I hope Canonical considers returning to the previous default setting it had for release, although the company has said publicly that its design changes were not up for debate.

          [...]

          Additionally, I was surprised by the use of Yahoo! as the new default home page for Ubuntu in Firefox, although this can easily be changed.

        • Variants

          • Trisquel- Ubuntu habla espagnol

            Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5 is released, it is an opensource linux distribution based on Ubuntu: “Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5, code name ‘Awen’, is ready. This release is a fully free Ubuntu 9.10 derivative that includes extra software, better multimedia support, more translations and faster configuration. For this release ext4 is used for the root file system and XFS for the home one, to have a balance between speed and usability. Some important features include a much faster boot process and the ability to encrypt the home directory. All packages were updated, including: Linux-libre kernel 2.6.31, X.Org 7.4, GNOME 2.28, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, a Mozilla-based web browser 3.5.

          • Distro Hoppin`: Gosalia BETA

            Gosalia (codename Mad Monkey) is based on the latest stable release of Ubuntu, which is 9.10. Unlike Ubuntu though, Gosalia takes up a hefty 2 GBs out of your DVD. There’s only one direct link to the ISO (32-bit only) but I didn’t encounter any connection problems. The speed wasn’t all that great, but neither was it painful. Again, a torrent would have been a speedier choice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hack your Samsung TV, linux guy

      Interestingly enough, the official Samsung firmware for several different models is based off the Linux kernel.

    • Phones

      • Great Debate: In 5 Years, Will You Own 1 or 20 Computers?

        A strong argument can be made for or against a future with Pervasive Computing. Some people will argue the middle – the devices that make sense to become smarter and Internet aware will happen naturally over time. This is perhaps a more realistic argument and that having a smart toaster isn’t worth the extra dollars, energy and growing landfills full of obsolete ones.

      • Nokia N900 Gets SDK Version 1.2 Update

        SDK version 1.2 also makes it possible to turn screen rotation on and off in the browser, according to Phonesreview, with an updated rendering engine to speed up the system and keep things as smooth as possible.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud gets HTML5 ready; releases web app source code

        Jolicloud has released its new web application platform today that is based on Google Chrome rather than the Mozilla Prism of old. Current users need simply to update the system for the new platform to be installed. The new system should be faster with a smaller memory footprint and enables HTML5-ready browsing.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Exchange Alternatives

    The candidates mentioned in those two articles are Open-Xchange, Scalix, Zimbra, Zarafa, Citadel, and OpenGroupware. I also found OpenChange directly from my Google search.

  • Interview: Ethan Galstad – The Nagios future

    Recently, Nagios, an open source application for network, server and application monitoring, has been the subject of a dispute. The operators of the French Nagios site nagios-fr.org claimed that Nagios Enterprises was forcing them to give up the domain because of postings about ICINGA, a fork of Nagios. At the centre of the dispute is Ethan Galstad, creator of Nagios and CEO of Nagios Enterprises. The H talked to him about what had happened and asked how he plans to take the Nagios community forward.

    [...]

    Even before then, as a 19 year old student, Galstad had run into issues with a program to crack the password of Trumpet WinSock software. He named the program TrumpCrack and gained his first experience of a threat of legal action from Trumpet’s lawyers. “It was a scary thing for me back then”. Those experiences led Galstad, when approaching trademark issues with the community, not to use attorneys to send a letter but make personal contact, either himself or Mary Starr (Nagios Enterprise’s Vice President); “It lets people know that there’s a real person on the other end”. Galstad has gone as far as having told the company’s lawyers to only send letters when there’s “a real serious problem that we’ve brought to their attention”. Concerning the trademark policy itself “not everyone is going to agree, nor everyone is going to understand, but the guidelines are there for very specific reasons”. Galstad feels he is being as fair as possible with the trademark policy.

  • 6 Open Source Resources To Help You Get More Done

    Among open source applications, there are an increasing number that focus on boosting productivity. Pervasive themes throughout the world of technology–such as collaboration online–are heavily influencing that. Open source tools focused on productivity include useful Firefox extensions such as iMacros (which lets you record repetitive, multi-step tasks and then execute them with one click) and full-blown collaboration platforms. Here, you’ll find our updated list of six productivity enhancement tools. Everything found here is free.

  • Carving a Ruby red road ahead

    IBM does because they hire people to do Eclipse. Most people actually get a pay-cheque. So there isn’t a business model for Open Source. And so this is the challenge for us. How do you create hybrid models that still give you revenue? That’s part of the reason why we’ve started the Innovation and Technology Trust. The intention is to support Open Source and emerging technologies that need endorsement and visibility in the IT eco-system in India. If there are other communities out there that need the support and backing, the trust is there for this.

  • Third Annual OSC (Open Source eCommerce) Industry Awards Results

    Each year for the past three years I have conducted an annual survey of users of Open Source eCommerce programs to help encourage and foster professionalism and improvement in the OSC industry. Each year there have been some surprises and insights, and this year is no exception.

  • New Release of OrangeHRM’s Open Source HRM Software
  • Open Text CM debuts on BlackBerry

    Hospitality solutions provider GuestCentric has integrated its booking engine Joomla, says Travolution.

  • Interviews

    • Parallels CEO backs down

      Parallels Logo Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels, has now clarified his position on open source. In a brief memo to the open source community, he says “In a recent interview I jokingly tried to buck the trend of common perception and play devil’s advocate regarding open source and the community”.

    • WordPress Founder: Open Source Is About People, Not Technology

      We’ve discovered a lot of great ideas here at The Economist Innovation Conference in Berkeley, California. Pixar’s President spoke on how the company creates great films and Paola Antonelli of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) discussed the history of the @ symbol, among other presentations and workshops.

      Now one of the biggest forces in social media, founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg, has taken the stage to speak about the open source movement, the origins of WordPress (WordPress), and how it has fostered innovation.

  • Education

    • A Teachable Moment: Open Source Platforms for Online Testing

      The Educational Testing Service contracted with Grunwald Associates LLC to conduct a study of educators around the nation, “An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders’ Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment,” which was released today.

    • Update: Report: School Leaders Interested in Learning About Open Source Platform for Internet-Based Testing

      An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders’ Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment synthesizes the findings from over 80 interviews with state assessment and technology leaders (representing 27 states) and national education opinion leaders (representing both public and private organizations). The study found that more and more states are rapidly moving toward Internet-based high-stakes testing, and that there was interest in understanding how an open source platform might work in an online assessment environment.

      “Open source software is being used in both higher education and K-12 today, though not for high-stakes assessments. Given the right circumstances, as revealed in this study, we believe it is an option for the future and could be used in the K-12 education community to a great advantage,” ETS Senior Vice President and General Manager, K-12 Assessment Programs, John Oswald, explains. “Not just for assessment, although this research is specifically around that idea, but as an innovative way of using technology — we are aware of open source technology and naturally wanted to explore its benefits.”

  • Events

    • Software conference planned for April

      The Palmetto Open Source Software Conference will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and USC from April 15-17.

    • GigaOM Bunker Session Coming Up: On the Cloud and Open Source

      In an intimate, upcoming Bunker Session event taking place in San Francisco, staffers from OStatic parent GigaOM will discuss the convergence of cloud computing and open source. The event is Wednesday, March 31st, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 pm., and speakers are seen below.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Mobile: Where it stands now

      Mozilla continues to actively develop for Nokia’s Maemo/MeeGo platform, the host of the first-ever Firefox for Mobile 1.0. The problem is that Firefox is far from being widely available in its cell phone-friendly form, extensions and all. The Nokia platform’s short reach makes up just a fraction of the mobile market, and Firefox is only available on two devices–the Nokia N900 and the N810 Internet Tablet.

  • SaaS

    • The Next Wave Of SaaS

      Right now if you think about the way software-as-a-service is delivered, Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Google are the most commonly cited examples. All these companies deliver their software using what is known as the multitenant model. Just as multitenant software knocked on-premise vendors for a loop, new distributed, open-source models for delivery of SaaS software will have a powerful impact.

    • Open-source SaaS to expand software capability

      The development of open-source SaaS software will result in an increased availability of software that provides great flexibility for enterprise and personal use, according to Forbes.

    • Open Source Alternative To Google Earth?

      Today, I fired up Google Earth to find that the ‘points of interest’ category had been removed, and a single checkbox is in its place. Certain layers are now entirely inaccessible. Google triggered a user revolt, but admitted fault, and promised to restore full functionality someday. In the meantime, I’ve found a lack of plausible alternatives.

  • Databases

    • Rackspace Cloud ‘Drizzles’ Into Open-Source Software

      As Oracle continues to shed the former open-source software personnel of Sun Microsystems, other companies are benefiting from the transition. Among those is cloud computing and hosting vendor Rackspace, which recently hired four of the key open source developers behind the Drizzle database effort, a spin-off from the Sun-owned MySQL database.

      Rackspace uses MySQL today in its infrastructure but has said that it sees its limitations when it comes to cloud deployments. That’s the reason behind the company’s interest in Drizzle. In some ways, Drizzle is an enhanced version of MySQL, providing additional cloud scalability features, but Rackspace said the project is not quite ready for prime time yet — but with its investment, it’s hoping to help get it there.

    • Terracotta and EnterpriseDB Partner to Deliver Unmatched Price and Performance Advantages for Private Cloud Data Management

      As organizations seek to move applications to private cloud environments, they are also reassessing the technical and economic viability of their current IT platforms. As a result, organizations are seeking open source-based solutions that are cost effective and can provide the scalability and elasticity to meet the demands of a cloud computing environment.

  • Oracle

    • Does Oracle mean end for MySQL?

      Basically it means that Oracle does see a future for the open-source version of MySQL, as long as it does not conflict with the roadmap for its own proprietary database tools. How Oracle handles this remains to be seen. When contacted, Oracle refused to make any comments, though in an earlier analyst call, Oracle CEO – Larry Ellison, had said that ‘Oracle will make MySQL better’, with Edward Screven, Oracle’s chief open-source architect, promising that Oracle will continue to support the open-source MySQL database.

    • Oracle-Sun: An Insider’s View for Sun Partners

      I continue to be impressed with Oracle’s commitment to partners and extremely excited by the new business opportunities the acquisition can provide to Sun’s value added partner community.

      Sun’s channel partners are some of the best companies in the industry. As they move from the Sun Partner Advantage Program to Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized, I think they will be impressed with what OPN Specialized can offer — providing their business with the ability to differentiate themselves across the Oracle product portfolio, including Sun servers and storage.

  • Business

    • Can Marten Mickos Build Another $100 Million Company?

      Can Marten Mickos capture open source lightning in a bottle — twice? He previously built MySQL into an estimated $100 million open source database company that Sun ultimately acquired for $1 billion. Now, Mickos is stepping into the CEO role at Eucalyptus Systems, the open-source cloud platform provider. Here’s what Mickos has to say about his new position, and the implications for the channel.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • FSF announces Free Software Awards winners

      John Gilmore, one of the founders of Cygnus Solutions and a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), won this year’s award for the Advancement of Free Software. Gilmore, who also gave a presentation at the conference on the future goals of the free software movement, said that, “Free software has been very good to me, and I’m glad that I have been good to it.”

  • Releases

    • Scribus 1.3.6 Released

      The Scribus Team is pleased to announce the release of Scribus 1.3.6. This version is another major step on the way to the next stable release 1.4.

      Compared to the work on Scribus 1.3.5, the development of Scribus 1.3.6 was focussed on stabilising the code base, and especially on weeding out issues that were mostly due to the porting of the code from Qt3 to Qt4.

  • Government

    • Right to reply: Brown’s digital future needs to be open source

      Last week’s speech by Gordon Brown outlined Labour’s vision for building Britain’s digital future. In this Right to Reply article, Steve Shine, executive vice president of worldwide operations, Ingres, the open source database provider, looks at why any future strategy needs to be based on open source technology, rather than tied to specific vendors.

    • Kundra Outlines Open Government Progress

      While the idea of open government is still an abstract one to many, the Obama administration is already seeing real results from its efforts to be more transparent in its activities, Obama’s chief information officer said this week.

      In testimony Tuesday before the U.S. subcommittee on federal financial management, government information, federal services, and international security, federal CIO Vivek Kundra attempted to shed light on how the administration’s Open Government Initiative is already fostering innovation and improving the performance of the U.S. government.

    • Korea Struggles in Developing Open Software

      Korea’s lackluster performance in open-source software continues to hit the country both at home and abroad.

      The state-run National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) disclosed Thursday the results of research regarding the international open-source software industry. Korea chalked up rather disappointing results.

      Out of the four categories assessed, Korea ranked fourth when it came to national policies for open-source software, sixth in overall environment and seventh for usage of the programs.

  • Openness

    • Finding God Through Open Source

      Regardless of your own feelings, there are people who find that this open source religion to be more reasonable and in line with their own spiritual and world outlook. From my investigation, a large number of these people are somewhat “geeky” in nature and have been exposed to open source principles through the open source software movement. But that doesn’t make it any less real for them.

    • Mapping software developed by Idaho State University, USU is international hit

      This free, open-source software is so popular that the ISU geosciences department will host the 1st International MapWindow GIS Users and Developers Conference March 31-April 2 at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. At least 60 users and developers from around the world are expected to attend the conference. Attendees include representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several private companies and universities.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • BT: Canvas will create open market

      Young said all of the ISPs involved in Project Canvas were promising to make IPTV work like TV all of the time. Fundamentally based on an open source standard, Canvas would create the mass market needed to engage with consumers.

Leftovers

  • Jack Straw unveils plan to curb libel tourism

    Overseas claimants will be discouraged from launching libel cases in UK courts and a “public interest” defence may be introduced to protect investigative journalism, under legal changes unveiled today.

  • Bogus DMCA Takedown Is Not Copyright Infringement And Not Libel

    We’ve had a few discussions concerning the available damages awards for bogus DMCA takedown notices. Unfortunately, if you’ve had your content taken down incorrectly, the damages you can get from those who sent the takedown, are greatly limited. This is a big problem, because bogus takedowns are regularly sent for a variety of reasons, including attempts to silence speech and because a copyright holder is taking a machine gun approach to dealing with infringing content. The case that’s received the most attention on this has been the Lenz vs. Universal Music case, involving Universal Music’s failure to take fair use into account in taking down a short video of a baby dancing to music.

  • DMCA ‘Interference’ With Copyright Is Not Copyright Infringement
  • With cheap food imports, Haiti can’t feed itself

    The earthquake not only smashed markets, collapsed warehouses and left more than 2.5 million people without enough to eat. It may also have shaken up the way the developing world gets food.

  • “Haitian NGOs Decry Total Exclusion from Donors’ Conferences on Haitian Reconstruction”

    47 local and international NGOs and civil society groups held a meeting last week to comment on the upcoming donor conference in New York. Afterwards 26 groups signed a statement that decried the absense of local input in the reconstruction plans that are being put forward. The statement is available online here (in Spanish).

  • Science

    • Branson’s SpaceShipTwo rocketplane gets off ground

      Beardy biz kingpin Richard Branson was overjoyed yesterday to announce that his passenger-carrying suborbital “SpaceShipTwo” rocket thrillride craft has left the ground for the first time. However it remained attached to its jet-powered “mothership” for the entire flight: independent operations aren’t expected for some time.

  • Security

    • The Spy in the Middle

      A decade ago, I observed that commercial certificate authorities protect you from anyone from whom they are unwilling to take money. That turns out to be wrong; they don’t even do that much.

    • Behind the Scenes, Crafting the US No-Fly List

      It starts with a tip, a scrap of intelligence, a fingerprint lifted from a suspected terrorist’s home.

    • Acrobatic thieves hit N.J. Best Buy avoiding cameras, motion sensors, alarms in daring heist

      They never touched the floor — that would have set off an alarm.

      They didn’t appear on store security cameras. They cut a hole in the roof and came in at a spot where the cameras were obscured by advertising banners.

    • Lawmakers Eyeing National ID Card

      Lawmakers are proposing a national identification card — what they’re calling “high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security cards” — that would be required for all employees in the United States.

    • Secret Service Paid TJX Hacker $75,000 a Year

      Convicted TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez earned $75,000 a year working undercover for the U.S. Secret Service, informing on bank card thieves before he was arrested in 2008 for running his own multimillion-dollar card-hacking operation.

    • Terrorists ‘could use exploding breast implants to blow up jet’

      Radical Islamist plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in lawless areas of Pakistan, security sources are said to warned.

      Explosives experts have reportedly said just five ounces of Pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate packed into a breast implant would be enough to blow a “considerable” hole in the side of a jumbo jet.

    • Oh, the irony

      There needs to be much more thought given to the privacy and health concerns – how are those employed being trained and vetted and how dangerous is the radiation these machines produce?

    • Get full body scanners in all airports now or face terror attacks, warns damning report
    • Lollipop ladies to be given CCTV on sticks

      The women launched a campaign after becoming concerned at motorists jumping red lights, talking on their mobile phones or drinking coffee while driving near two schools in Reddish, Greater Manchester.

      They say inconsiderate drivers are creating chaos and causing dangerous jams while pupils try to cross the road.

    • Anti-terror police seek help from internet cafes

      Police battling the threat of terrorism have unveiled a new tactic – they are targeting internet cafes.

      As evidence suggests that several people convicted with terrorism acts have visited internet cafes while plotting their crimes, the Metropolitan Police are trialling a new initiative in which owners agree to monitor what customers are looking at, and report any suspect activity to police.

    • Bad Things Happen When Politicians Think They Understand Technology

      This is one of those bills that sounds good for the headlines (cybercrime is bad, we need to stop it), but has the opposite effect in reality: setting up needless “standards” that actually prevent good security practices. It’s bills like both of these that remind us that technologically illiterate politicians making technology policy will do funky things, assuming that technology works with some sort of magic.

    • India Continues to Imprison Human Rights Activist Dr. Binayak Sen

      Last week marked the second anniversary of the detention of the internationally recognized award-winning human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, who’s worked as a public health professional in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh for twenty-five years.

  • Health

    • Ban on “Pay for Delay” Patent Settlements Cut from Health Care Bill

      Generic drug makers are applauding the latest change to the health care bill – eliminating the ban on patent settlements.

    • Pay-For-Delay Ban Dropped From Health Care Reform

      Basically, big pharma companies threaten (and often sue) the makers of generic drugs, just before a drug is about to go off patent. There is no actual patent infringement as the basis of the lawsuit, but the lawsuit acts as a negotiating ploy, with part of the “settlement” being an agreement from the generic drug maker not to enter the market. It’s a blatantly anti-competitive move. Basically, the pharma companies leverage their gov’t granted monopoly to build up a bunch of cash, which they can then use to pay off potential competitors in order to keep that monopoly for years past the expiration of the patent.

    • Michael Moore: Healthcare Bill “A Victory for Capitalism”
    • What President Obama Didn’t Say

      My decision came last Tuesday morning. There’s a place where I go in the Capitol, just to kind of reflect — before I have to make very important decisions. It’s in the rotunda — right next to Lincoln’s statue. It’s just a bench. And I went over there early Tuesday morning, about seven in the morning when the sun was just coming up, and no one else was around — there wasn’t a sound in the Capitol at that moment in the morning. And I just sat down there in a quiet place and thought about this decision. And that’s literally where I made up my mind that, notwithstanding how much there was in the bill that I didn’t like, that I had a higher responsibility to my constituents, to the nation, to my president and his presidency, to step forward and say, “We must pass this bill. And we must use this bill as an opening toward a renewed effort for a more comprehensive approach to health care reform.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • All Your Browsing History Are Belong to Us

      For several years, it has been a poorly kept secret that any Web site you went to could secretly search your browser’s history file to see what sites you had previously visited. All the site owner had to do was ask. And while browser history “sniffing” has been around for a long time, companies are finally starting to actively take advantage of it. The time to act to prevent this clear threat to personal privacy is now.

    • Google fine for uncensored dirty jokes

      A BRAZILIAN court today fined US internet giant Google for not blocking pages of dirty jokes on its social networking site Orkut.

    • Police given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games

      Police have been handed ‘Chinese-style’ powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.

      Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.

    • Google co-founder Sergey Brin urges US to act over China web censorship

      Google co-founder Sergey Brin has called on Washington to take a stand against China’s censorship of the internet, urging the US to make the issue a “high priority”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Better Homes and Copyrights
    • Response To The White House’s Request For Feedback On IP Enforcement

      The central tenet of copyright law has been, “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” and the mechanism for this is both copyright and patents, or more specifically, “securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Unfortunately, over the years, all too often we’ve lost sight of the beginning of that sentence, in the assumption that any increase in those “exclusive rights” must surely “promote the progress.” And, yet, as we have expanded and stretched copyright law time and time again — and almost never contracted it — no one ever seems to ask for any actual evidence that stronger and lengthier copyright law leads to promoting more progress.

    • ICANN Threatened by Olympic Committee Over Intellectual Property Concerns

      The International Olympic Committee appears to think it has the rights to all sport, given a recent letter to ICANN that raises concerns on the .SPORT gTLD proposal in particular, and new gTLDs in general.

    • Filmmakers Fake Piracy Threat to Boost Sales

      In a desperate cry for media attention, the filmmakers behind the flopped Danish movie Winnie & Karina have accused Piratgruppen of stealing their film. In two libelous press releases they fabricated a piracy threat from the local group of copyright critics, hoping to draw attention to the upcoming DVD-release.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Prof. David Eisenberg volunteers at a Lindependence 2008 Intalllfest 01 (2008)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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  1. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  2. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  3. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  4. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  5. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  6. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  7. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  8. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  9. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  10. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  11. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  12. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  13. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  15. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  16. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  17. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  18. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  19. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  20. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  21. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  22. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  23. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  24. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  25. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  26. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  27. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  28. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

    Links for the day


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